My daughters will be 8 in May. (EIGHT! Weren’t they born last Wednesday?!) J just went through a serious growth spurt and her 5T pants are suddenly visibly short on her.
Take a moment to absorb that, please. She is, at age (nearly) 8, outgrowing toddler sizes. Her twin sister, M, still fits comfortably in 5T clothes. We are, as I may have mentioned before, short. Petite. Whatever.
This weekend promises to be a busy one, so I figured it would be worth my while to do a little pre-shopping research online before I outfit J with a new set of bottoms. We looked at several sites and found a decent selection of size 6 Hanes sweatpants that should carry her through until the weather warms.
She then asked if we could look around for long skirts in her size. We looked on the Children’s Place, Target, Walmart and Old Navy websites. (Hey, I’m raising two kids on one state employee income; my budget is tight.) Every skirt we found was, in her words, “babyish.” They were all short, many of them tutu-styled. Clearly, the things in J’s size are targeted at toddlers, not fashion-aware second graders.
Her disappointment was obvious on her face.
Me: Pumpkin, I think I understand how you feel. Until I got pregnant with you and Sissy, I wore a junior size large or size 13. Since those sizes are made for kids, it was really hard for me to find grownup clothes that were appropriate for work.
J: I’m so glad you understand! It’s so frustrating being the size of little kid when I’m an elementary schooler! I just want to find a skirt without cartoon characters. But everywhere I look, there’s Minnie Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Minnie Mouse!
I’m sure parents with kids on the other end of the spectrum are equally frustrated. What do you do when your little one is a size 4T but still rightly belongs in onesies? I realize that clothing companies put their money where the majority of the market is. I realize that a more skilled mother than I could do some sewing magic to make clothes work. I realize that someone with a bigger budget would have more options.
Still, it’s frustrating to watch my child be frustrated in the same way I have been ever since I started needing to find clothes in the US. I was blissfully unaware of the issue as a teen in Bangladesh, where off-the-rack clothes were still a relatively rare find and going to a tailor or making one’s own clothes was the norm.
Anyone know of affordable clothes for big kids that run really, really small?
Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.